Friday, March 28, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
What is Hope? Is it just a front, a way of coping, encouraging yourself when there is nothing else to say or do? Is hope just a catchy a way of patting a friend on the back? Is Hope a silly idea or just a word we use to rally support for a cause? No, Hope is more than that, stronger than that! Hope is a living part of us, hope is the air we breath, the water we drink and the light we embrace each day with!
Hope is life, and it is how we live our lives. Hope lives in our laughter and in our tears. Hope picks us up when we fail and stands by us when we succeed. Hope is present when we fall and when we rise. Hope does not die, no hope re-invents itself in the legacy we leave behind. Hope is not always patient, yet hope does continue to inspire us, pushing us forward. Hope reminds us of why we are grateful. Hope does not concede defeat yet hope knows when to graciously bow out of conflict. Hope whispers in our ears to be thankful not just for what we have but also for what we do not have.
Hope is ingrained into our soul, written across our heart and a constant beautiful companion to our spirit. Hope is why we dream and why we fight. Hope is both apart of death and of life. Hope is present in both our joy and our grief. Hope carries us when we are to weak to walk. Hope speaks for us when we are overcome by pain. Hope is how we live in spite of our fear. Hope is the light that paves our way in the darkness. Hope is everywhere and in everything. No, hope is much more than just a word or an idea whose time has gone. No, Hope is our CONSTANT.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Saturday, March 1, 2008
We all have scars physical and emotional. Most of us we tend to hide them away from the sight of others and usually we do a good job of it too . It doesn't matter how big or small they may be, we simply don't want the world to see our imperfections. We don't want to appear to be weak, emotional or unable to carry the world on our shoulders. So we cover our scars up fearful of what the world may think of us. This is the fight I have fought and the battlefront I have lived upon for the last 2 years.
I have been forthright when needed and I have allowed my heart to be broken openly. I have done my best to be as open and honest as possible with my friends and family. But I have also hidden my deepest fears away so as not to burden or scare those that cannot handle the thought of what lies beneath the surface. I have kept myself from being overly exposed keeping this part of my heart, my soul and my body closed to all but a select few. As I have traveled this path, and believe me there are many different paths that one can travel, I have formed many dear friendships. I have come to know many women who are still fighting and sadly many who have lost their fight with this cancer. Some have been completely open and others have been more private with their struggles. But the truth is they all have had to live and yes die with the scars.
This point was never as clear to me as it was as I was sitting in my oncologist office waiting for my check up. I was early and they were running late so I was left with a great amount of time on my hands. I looked all around me and I thought about how blessed I was not to be there for chemo, but for a routine remission follow up. Routine! Ha! Blood work, questions, tests a deep breath and then... all clear for now. The worry, the blessing and then the burden of another four, maybe six months till it all starts again. I found myself thinking too much on all this after I was walked back to the room to again wait. I was sitting up on the table with my new paper shirt, open to the front so she could examine my breasts. With my scars exposed I sat there and until my eyes caught sight of a book, a pictorial of breast cancer survivors. Tears began filling my eyes as I saw pictures of these brave bold women who had the courage to expose the truth of breast cancer and the scars she leaves behind. These were beautiful, loved and women comfortable with their scars. They were old, young, wives, mothers and grandmothers. They were survivors, they were heroes and they wore their scars with pride!
The truth is that the scars left behind from breast cancer are life altering, dark, and bigger than life. They are scars that go everywhere with you. They are with you when you wake up in the morning, when you shower, face the mirror, put a swimsuit on and when you go to bed every night. There are times that you want to just give up and give in. There are nights that you just want to give into the darkness, and turn your back on the sunrise. Yes, I have been there. I have felt abandoned and fearful. I have struggled with pulling myself up and out of bed. I have wanted to just forget the fight, sink deep inside my own prison and stay there indefinitely. I have dressed myself looking into the mirror at my Frankenstein breasts and truly wanted to run out of the house screaming down the road. But the truth is that those moments have strengthened me. These scars are not pretty and yes they do go deep scaring your soul as well. But that does not mean that you are a walking angry zombie. No it means that you live with cancers sting, you accept her ability to challenge your mortality but you do not allow her to crush your spirit ever!
I can say with all honesty that these scars are terrible as they are a constant reminder of your greatest moment of devastation. Yet they are also reminders of your ability to endure the beast. I have watched my body go from young, womanly and free of disease to leave me a bruised, butchered and stitched together woman that it is now. Still, I am not ashamed of my body, my fight or my scars. Looking back I would say that my scars have freed me to live, to be me and not to be afraid of being comfortable in my own skin! These scars of mine are visual reminders of my dance with the beast. I can say now that I am not ashamed of cancers furry or her claw marks across my breasts. No I am humbled to stand among all her survivors and wear her scars as a badge of honor!